Politics and Elections in Kenya



Systems. Forms. Elections



1.  Genesis

Political systems are a feature of mankind in whatever society. Here, we will undertake an overview of the various such systems especially those that have had profound influence to contemporary systems and those that continue to persist to-date

2.  Political Systems before Colonialism

Kenya is made up of 42 indigenous 'Nations' or language groups who had varying systems and forms of political persuasion, structures and inheritance. In this section we will examine these systems and especially the similarities that existed among them. 

3.  Political Systems during the Colonial Era

The White colonial masters were primarily concerned with administrative and economic issues in Kenya as they subjugated the indigenous African. At that time community leaders and elders were co-opted into this system and eventually into legislative assemblies as the clamour for self-rule gained momentum.

4.  Post-Independence Politics and Elections

Once Kenya became independent, a mix of Western and indigenous democracy began to contest the political space in the country. Eventually dictatorships controlled by a minority elite took over at the center to the exclusion of the majority.

5.  Politics and Elections under the New Constitution

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 promises a complete departure with the old order by ushering a fresh and open political space and affirmative action. The question that still lingers however, is whether the New Constitution does adequately capture the traditions of the 42 'Nations' of Kenya or whether it's just a copy-and-paste Western constitution that may fail to unite the people. 




1. Ongoya, Z Elisha and Otieno, Wilies E, (2012) "Handbook on electoral laws and systems in Kenya". Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). 

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